Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah warned ‘Israel’ anew on Monday that it would not be able to extract gas from the Karish field in September before Lebanon obtains its right, making it clear that the resistance movement’s precision missiles can hit any Israeli target at sea or on land.
In an exclusive interview on Al-Mayadeen’s Ghassan Ben Jeddou, Sayyed Nasrallah pointed that the start of deterrence between Lebanon and the Israeli occupation started in 1985 when “Tel Aviv” had to withdraw earlier than planned from many areas it had occupied.
The interview with Sayyed Nasrallah comes as part of the “Dialogue of the 40th Anniversary” about the achievements of the resistance over the past several decades and the status-quo against the Israeli occupation which Al-Mayadeen broadcast on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the founding of Lebanese Islamic resistance movement Hezbollah.
“The Israeli enemy dealt with the border strip as a security belt preventing the freedom fighters from going into Palestine, and that is when deterrence began,” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah underlined.
At the time, the Hezbollah chief said, deterring the Israeli occupation was a collaborative effort achieved by all the resistance movements that carried out operations against the Israeli occupation, not just Hezbollah. “The second phase of deterrence started through the actions of the resistance in the villages adjacent to the border carried out until 1993 when phase three began.”
“From 1993 until 1996, a high level of deterrence was achieved,” Sayyed Nasrallah explained. “The April 1996 agreement was the foundation of the victory in 2000, when deterrence manifested in various ways, including preventing the occupation from shelling civilian targets without any response [to its aggression].”
Sayyed Nasrallah underscored that the Israeli occupation realized, through the July war, that confrontation with the resistance was dangerous and that the resistance’s capabilities were much more than just confrontations at the border.
“Since 2006, the enemy does not dare take any action against Lebanon,” the resistance leader noted, noting that “Tel Aviv” was only resorting to run-of-the-mill operations that leave no mark in Lebanon.
The Karish equation
Commenting on the Karish equation underlined in a speech he made two weeks ago, when he sternly said: “When things reach a dead-end, we will not only stand in the face of Karish… Mark these words: we will reach Karish, beyond Karish, and beyond, beyond Karish,” Sayyed Nasrallah said Lebanon now has a historic opportunity in light of Europe’s need for an alternative to Russian oil and gas.
“US President Joe Biden came to the region for gas and oil, and the [additional resources] that Saudi Arabia and the UAE can offer will not solve the issue of Europe’s needs,” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah explained.
“The United States and Europe need oil and gas, and Israel sees an opportunity in that,” he explained. “Biden does not want war in the region, and this is an opportunity to pressure [them] for our oil.”
The issue is not about Karish and Qana, Sayyed Nasrallah said. “It is about all of the oil and gas fields looted by Israel in Palestine’s waters in exchange for Lebanon’s rights.”
“The Americans distracted Lebanon with negotiations while ‘Israel’ explored for gas and is preparing to extract it,” Sayyed Nasrallah stressed. “The United States pressured the Lebanese state into agreeing to the Hoff line, i.e., the Israeli proposal for the maritime borders.”
Warning the Israeli occupation against committing any provocations against Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah said there were no Israeli targets in the sea or land out of the reach of the resistance’s precision missiles.
“[Targeting] Karish or beyond depends on the Israeli enemy’s decision along with that of the United States,” he underlined.
“The Lebanese state made a major concession through what it asked for from the US mediator when it mentioned line 23+,” he highlighted. “Right now, the ball is not in Lebanon’s court, as it is prohibited from extracting oil and gas in the non-disputed area.”
“What is required is a commitment to the borders stipulated by the Lebanese state and ending the veto on the companies extracting oil,” the Hezbollah chief added.
“If the extraction of oil and gas starts in September before Lebanon retains its rights, we are heading toward a confrontation,” he said. “We have set a goal that we will seek to achieve no matter what, and we will resort to anything to this end.”
“The Lebanese state is incapable of making the right decision that would protect Lebanon and its riches, therefore the resistance must take this decision,” Sayyed Nasrallah underlined.
The goal today, he said, is for Lebanon to extract its oil and gas, explaining that this was the only way for the country’s survival.
The Lebanese must trust the resistance
“Hezbollah is capable of deterring the enemy and striking targets anywhere in the sea of occupied Palestine,” Sayyed Nasrallah stressed.
“The major violations of Lebanon’s airspace committed by the Israeli drones is what pushed us to make the decision to use some of our capabilities,” he clarified. “The Israeli UAVs were largely violating Beqaa and South Lebanon, but the reconnaissance flight rates were reduced following the resistance’s response.”
The resistance leader stressed that it was necessary for the Lebanese people to have faith in the resistance and that “the resistance has enough manpower and military and financial capabilities to subjugate ‘Israel’.”
“If the situation heads to war, the Lebanese people must trust the resistance that will be able to impose Lebanon’s will on the enemy.”
Hezbollah ready to provide Iranian fuel for free
The Hezbollah chief stressed that there was no coordination with Syria, Iran, or any domestic allies when it came to Hezbollah resorting to any friendly companies for help.
Sayyed Nasrallah then went on to express Hezbollah’s readiness to provide Iranian fuel to Lebanese power plants for free, conditioning the proposal to the Lebanese government’s approval.
“Sadly, the Lebanese political class is not bold enough to take such a step out of fear of US sanctions on [politicians] and their families.”
It is unacceptable for anyone to doubt Hezbollah’s patriotism
“Classifying one as patriotic is not based on standards; rather it is subjected to personal whims targeting Hezbollah, and some [parties] even went as far as targeting the entire Shiite population,” the Lebanese resistance leader said.
“Our presence in this country goes back 1,400 years in history at the very least, and I dare you to bring me one witness since the establishment of Hezbollah 40 years ago that can say that Hezbollah did anything that was in the interest of Iran and not Lebanon’s.”
Hezbollah has nothing to do with Archbishop Al-Hajj’s case
“Some parties’ assumption that the Lebanese state apparatuses working under Hezbollah’s command is nothing but lies, slander, and injustice toward the security services and Hezbollah,” Sayyed Nasrallah stressed.
The Hezbollah chief touched on the case of the Archbishop of the Archeparchy of Haifa and the Holy Land, Moussa Al-Hajj, who was arrested by the Lebanese General Security Services on July 18 upon his return to Lebanon through the Ras Al-Naqoura border crossing from the occupied Palestinian territories, saying the resistance movement had no previous knowledge of his arrest.
“Hezbollah and I found out about Archbishop Moussa Al-Hajj along with the other Lebanese people,” Sayyed Nasrallah said. “Hezbollah has no relation to the case of Archbishop Moussa Al-Hajj, and we will not interfere in it.”
“What happened over the past two days in light of Archbishop Al-Hajj’s case will lead to the dissolution of the state, its institutions, and the judiciary, and this is a dangerous path,” Sayyed Nasrallah clarified. “The transfer of funds from occupied Palestine is illegal, regardless of the reason.”
“Some parties in Lebanon hypocritically say that Israel is an enemy, while it is, for them, an ally, a friend, and the future.”
President Aoun was strong throughout his tenure
“Approaching the issue of the presidency by determining the characteristics of the upcoming president is a waste of time as much as it is futile,” Sayyed Nasrallah said regarding the domestic issue of forming a government and electing a president.
He also noted that Hezbollah did not even begin deliberations regarding presidential candidates while negating what is being reported on behalf of the party in relation to the issue.
“Hezbollah will not have a presidential candidate of its own; it will decide which of the candidates to support,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.
He added that to be fair when discussing the tenure of President Michel Aoun, one must take into consideration the jurisdictions of the President of the Republic. “Aoun was a leader who stood strong, taking decisions no one else would have taken, such as engaging in the Dawn of the Jurds battle till the very end.”
Commenting on the issue of the Lebanese government, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah stressed that Lebanon needs a government that is capable of bearing the burdens facing the state and taking full responsibility, “which is why certain parties do not want to participate in it.”
Demise of ‘Israel’ won’t take another 40 years
“I see that the demise of the Israeli entity is imminent,” Sayyed Nasrallah stressed, where Israeli settlers will be seen leaving through airports, seaports, and border crossings. “We will not need another 40 years to witness the demise of Israel.”
“All the elements allowing Israel to survive are diminishing and dwindling while the elements that will lead to its demise are growing stronger.”
IRGC participated in joint operations room during Seif Al-Quds
“During the battle of Seif Al-Quds, we were providing all the information we had to the Palestinians through the joint operations room,” the Lebanese resistance leader revealed, stressing that there was communication in place between the various forces of the Axis of Resistance. He also disclosed that the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) was active in the joint operations room during the pivotal battle against the Israeli occupation.
“There was direct coordination with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, with around-the-clock follow-up throughout the war, and the contact level was highly dependent on intel.”
Sayyed Nasrallah personally interested in Hamas-Syria reconciliation
The Hezbollah chief touched on the reconciliation between Hamas and Syria, saying the Hamas leadership “arrived at a conclusion that they cannot turn their backs on Syria, for it is an integral part of the Axis of Resistance.”
He also expressed his personal interest in getting the relations between Syria and Hamas back on track, as it became clear to everyone where the struggle was heading to.
Hezbollah stands with Yemeni people, Ansarullah
Regarding the Saudi war on Yemen, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that when it comes to this war, Hezbollah cannot play a mediation role as it openly takes sides; the side of the Yemeni people and Ansarullah.
Considering that a mediator usually asks for concessions from the parties involved, Sayyed Nasrallah conjectured what concessions could be demanded from Ansarullah.
On the issue of mediation, the Lebanese Resistance leader went on to say that the Iranians stressed that there is nothing that the Yemenis can concede.
He also stressed that the relationship of Hezbollah with Saudi Arabia and the UAE is in no way based on ideological issues; rather, the factors that govern the relationship are merely political.
“The arrests in the UAE are a tool of political pressure on Hezbollah, and they must be dealt with.”
Turkey has expansionist interests in Syria
Sayyed Nasrallah touched on the Turkish intervention in Syria, saying: “It does not seem that the situation is headed for a settlement between Turkey and Syria, as Erdogan is still betting on some things to leverage his position.”
“We cannot deny there being Turkish expansionist interests in Syria and Iraq,” Sayyed Nasrallah added.
Clarifying Hezbollah’s position on Iraq, the movement’s chief said: “Hezbollah has no private project in Iraq, and we do not adopt one party at the expense of the others […] Hezbollah’s role has long been about bringing the viewpoints of the Iraqi factions closer.”
Iran never asked Sayyed Nasrallah for anything
“Had Iran been after a greater influence in the region, it would have reconciled with the Americans, abandoned Palestine, and went back to being the policeman of the Middle East,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.
“Iran’s stance on the Palestinian cause is based on [the Islamic Republic’s] ideologies and religion; it expects no thanks for it. It is not for gaining any influence in the region.”
The Lebanese resistance leader underscored that Iran never asked him for anything, whether in Lebanon or the region, at a time it helped Iraq and Syria in curbing the expansion of ISIS. “[Iran] standing by its friends and allies does not in any way mean that it controls them.”
On its 40th anniversary, Hezbollah has fully grown
“The presence of Hezbollah in the Axis of Resistance will grow stronger and more capable throughout the region,” Sayyed Nasrallah said. “Hezbollah’s vision regarding the upcoming period on the local level in Lebanon is engagement more than ever before.”
The Hezbollah chief said the party will cooperate with all parties in Lebanon, except those dealing with Hezbollah with political and media enmity.
“I do not take credit for any of Hezbollah’s achievements. All of Hezbollah’s achievements were made possible through God’s will and upper hand first, and collective efforts second. When I say Hezbollah, I mean [the party’s] supporters, too.”
“Spearheading our achievements is the liberation in 2000 and imposing a state of safety and security for our people in the South,” he stressed.
A message to the loyal people
“I say to the loyal people who never backstabbed us or left us at all and bore the brunt of living: you are the most honorable and purest people,” he said.
“If it were not for my trust in the popular base of the resistance, I would not have said what I said about going to war for the sake of Lebanon’s rights in the latest speech,” Sayyed Nasrallah underlined.
Addressing the supporters of the resistance and its people, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “All the blessings we have are bestowed upon us by Allah Almighty, and after thanking Allah, I cannot but thank the people whom we are not merely complementing when we call them the most honorable, the purest, and the most generous… the sacrifices were constantly growing with time, yet they remained loyal and never let us down or backstabbed us.”
Source: Al-Mayadeen English Website